This recipe for the best beef brisket EVER that is “smoked” in the oven or pellet grill and chopped for barbecue sandwiches or eating alone with healthy sides.
This is Beef Brisket “Amarillo Style.”
I’ve been making this beef brisket for 30+ years, and the recipe was given to me by my “mother-in-love” who we call Mimi.
When Zane’s family lived in Amarillo, Texas, his mom learned to cook brisket like most of her Texas friends~which is the recipe I am sharing in this post. I’ve never seen anyone outside of our family cook brisket this way, but then again I am seldom outside of Alabama:-)
Be Sure to Choose the Correct Brisket
It is very important to buy a flat cut beef brisket NOT corned beef brisket. If you see the word “corned” on the label, this is not the right meat. Costco is my preference; they have lovely briskets at a good price. My briskets are not trimmed. It is super easy to remove the fat from a brisket once it is cooked. The fat layer (cook with it on top) keeps the meat moist during cooking).
What size of brisket do you buy?
Brisket is something that I usually make for company. It is what I call “small group food.” I usually buy a 6-7 pound brisket when we are aiming to feed 18-20. I usually put another meat alongside this. Sometimes I get a couple of BBQ chickens quartered or chopped for a BBQ buffet (when we have a crowd).
How do you marinate beef brisket for cooking?
In the short video below, I show how easy it is to marinade a beef brisket for cooking. I show the process of rubbing the brisket with salts, pouring in the liquid marinade, and placing the brisket in the bag for marinating. I include a few tips and tricks in the video, so it is worth a watch:-)
How long do you marinate beef brisket?
This brisket needs to marinate 24 hours or overnight. Because I am a “make ahead and freeze” kinda gal, I marinade beef brisket and freeze it a few weeks or months before I plan to cook it. This makes it easier (in my opinion) just before a party, as all you have to do is thaw and cook for the party~the marinade step is done.
How does the brisket get a smoked flavor from the oven?
Believe it or not, this oven-baked brisket has a huge smokey flavor from the marinade. Liquid Smoke (yes, an entire bottle) does the trick. Worcestershire and a 3-salt rub add even more complexity to the flavor.
How do you cook a beef brisket in the oven?
I place my marinaded brisket in a roasting pan (with the top grid removed). Then, I wrap the brisket tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. This makes a nice “oven” for the meat~similar to a browning bag. In the video below, I show how I take a marinaded beef brisket from the freezer to the oven to the table.
How to make this brisket on a pellet grill.
If you have a pellet grill, simply follow these instructions using the same temperature and cook time, just use your outdoor pellet grill. This is my new favorite way to cook this meat since I just bought a RecTec pellet grill.
How long do you cook a beef brisket in the oven to make it fall apart tender?
For large briskets (4 or more pounds), I put the brisket in super early in the morning so that it will have at least 8 hours in the oven. I’ve also put the brisket in the oven just before bedtime and cooked it all night. Long, low and slow bake time is key to breaking down the meat and making it fork-tender.
What temperature do you cook a beef brisket to make it fall apart tender?
Whether I cook the brisket in an indoor oven or outdoor smoker (pellet grill), I have found the best temperature for the oven/smoker is a consistent 200-225 F. I have not used a meat thermometer (since I go by long, low & slow cook time), but I would advise an internal temp of at least 205 for the meat if you are looking for “fall apart” brisket. Removing the brisket from the oven/smoker at 205 F and letting it sit for an hour or two (while it will continue to cook and tenderize) will yield fall-apart tender meat. Then let is rest in foil for at least one hour, preferably two, before removing the foil.
This brisket is chopped not sliced.
If you’ll note in the photo, this brisket is chopped. Many folks think beef brisket has to be sliced, but this one is cooked to the “fall apart tender” stage that is perfect for chopping like BBQ. I personally prefer chopped to sliced.
When the brisket is removed from the oven, always allow at least one hour (preferably two) for the meat to sit, covered, to settle. Leave the brisket covered tightly in foil, removing only after the “sit time.” During this sitting period, the meat will get more tender, succulent, and easier to chop.
In the short video below, I share my two quick and easy ways to chop this beef brisket before serving.
Be sure to save the beef brisket au jus!!
Be sure to save the au jus after cooking, as it keeps the meat moist and is great served on the side. I also serve this brisket with white and red barbecue sauces. If you want to remove the fat from the au jus, simply let it sit in the fridge or freezer for a few hours. The fat will rise to the top and can be lifted or skimmed off easily.
What do you serve with beef brisket?
When I make this brisket, I typically serve it with a good slaw. My favorites are this vinegar slaw for BBQ (if I plan to use this for sandwiches), or this crunchy slaw (always a crowd-pleaser). For a slam dunk dinner fit for company, I serve this brisket with Boursin Potato Gratin and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans, Pears & Gorgonzola. These two sides pair especially well with the savory smoky brisket.
If you try this family favorite of mine, please let me know how it turns out! I know your family will love it:-) As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed, and savvy day!!!
- 1 4-5 pound beef brisket (not corned beef)
- 1 bottle liquid smoke (natural hickory smoke, original recipe)
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire
- onion salt
- celery salt
- garlic salt
- DAY BEFORE:
- Place brisket on foil or parchment.
- Rub all sides generously with onion, garlic & celery salts.
- Place brisket in a large heavy-duty freezer bag (2-gallon bags work well for most briskets).
- Pour liquid smoke and Worcestershire over brisket.
- Marinade overnight, turning occasionally to distribute marinade on all sides. If freezing, place in the freezer at this point.
- DAY OF COOKING:
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
- Line rimmed cookie sheet or roasting pan with heavy duty foil.
- Place brisket down in the pan, fat side up.
- Cover entire pan with heavy-duty foil, sealing the edges tightly.
- Cook 8 hours.
- Remove from oven CAREFULLY so as not to spill juices from the pan.
- Allow to sit at least one hour before removing foil.
- Unwrap foil; scrape fat layer off and discard.
- Pull brisket into shreds; chop into pieces with kitchen shears.
- Pour au jus over meat; cover and keep warm until serving.
To freeze, make the brisket up to the point of baking, and freeze in the marinade in an airtight freezer bag. Thaw 2-3 days before cooking. Cook as directed.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 413Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 10gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 150mgSodium 240mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 41g